The Sonic Overlords “The Last Days Of Babylon”

If you’re a fan of the Tony Martin era Black Sabbath, here’s a band you definitely shouldn’t miss out on! Swedish quartet The Sonic Overlords (who do their name justice) is fronted by singer Marcus Zachrisson Rubin with Morgan Zocek (Sideburn) on guitar, Daniel Ramirez on bass, and Per Soläng (Corroded) behind the drums.

The album kicks off with slightly oriental-sounding up-tempo rocker “Utopia”, making me think of Rainbow meets Black Sabbath, while the next track, “In My Darkest Room,” takes the tempo down to a nice mix of slow Sabbathy doom riffs and melodic vibes. “Fools” picks up the pace again, and even if I do see Black Sabbath peeking out behind the corner, it does have a nice dose of Sonic Overlords personality.

“Lords Of Tomorrow” takes us back down into the basement… even under the basement. Doom of the highest order, in league with Swedish colleagues Sorcerer. A speedy riff with excellent melodic vocals. This is great stuff, indeed! “World of Fire” starts friendly and easily developing into a powerful ballad resting on a heavy foundation. Marcus, who also fronts cover band Ozzy The Coverband, does a great job, and despite the risk of doing so, does not sound like a copy of either Ozzy, Tony, or Dio. He has his touch, which fits this band like a glove.

“Sands of Time” is a mid-tempo cruncher that reminds me a bit of Grand Magus on “Iron Will,” but also with some softer parts weaved in. Very lovely and dynamic.” Shine” continues in the same vein, where they take it down with a softer pre-verse, and then flick the power switch and even features a football chorus as a new dimension. “Children of the Night” provides another dose of doom riffing. Detuned, heavy, and powerful with Marcus’ voice as a flag bearer on top of the black mountain. One of my favorites on the album! “Eternal Heroes” picks up the tempo and the riffs are mean and suggestive, but the song still has a fateful feeling hanging over it. In the last track, “Past the End of Time,” none less than Tony Martin guests vocals. Maybe not surprising, since the song also has a strong vibe of Black Sabbath. The fact is I hardly hear the difference between Tony and Marcus’ vocals (and still, I don’t feel Marcus sounds like Tony… figure that one out). I must also say, I like the production, which is fast and powerful yet quite dynamic.

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By Janne Stark

I'm a Swedish guitarist, writer, and record collector. I've recorded a bunch of albums/C.D.s with bands like OVERDRIVE, LOCOMOTIVE BREATH, BALLS, MOUNTAIN OF POWER, ZELLO, PLANET ALLIANCE, plus made guest appearances on stuff by NARNIA, AUDIOVISION, CHRIS CATENA, FAITH, BLINDED COLONY, THALAMUS, M.O.B., TOWER OF STONE, VII GATES, etc. I'm currently involved in the following bands/projects: GRAND DESIGN, MOUNTAIN OF POWER, OVERDRIVE, ZOOM CLUB, and CONSTANCIA. I've been writing for magazines like FUZZ, Backstage, Kool Kat News, Hard Roxx, Sweden Rock Magazine, etc. I still write for, and, plus I'm the author of the three volumes of "The Encyclopedia of Swedish Hard Rock And Heavy Metal"! I have a lovely wife, two crazy cats and two beautiful daughters.